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The Cover
March 24/31, 1999

Shoe Shop

JAMA. 1999;281(12):1064. doi:10.1001/jama.281.12.1064

Witty, spirited, and talented, Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones (1885-1968), at the young age of 18 years, was exhibiting and selling her watercolors and oil paintings, giving her future financial security. The New York Times called her "the find of the year." Capturing the attention of the American art world of the early 1900s, Sparhawk-Jones painted lighthearted scenes of contemporary life—mothers and their children strolling in a park and women shopping or reading. Perplexing her contemporaries with the technical effects of her watercolor and oil paintings, she claimed to use the same brushes and paints as other artists. Sparhawk-Jones received critical acclaim for her original and distinctive style, different from the heavy brushstroke paintings of others, but her artistic peak ended abruptly. Disappearing from the public eye years after her initial successes, Sparhawk-Jones lost her desire to paint. Plagued with a paternal hereditary weakness of severe depression, Sparhawk-Jones would only regain her passion for painting several years later.